JAKARTA, INDONESIA, 6 June 2023 – Yayasan PETRONAS announced today it has earned an ASEAN Green Initiative (AGI) recognition for Large-Scale Tree Planting Initiatives following its successful work to plant 57,545 trees in Malaysia under the foundation’s tree-planting activities in support of PETRONAS’ Walk4Trees Programme.
The 57,545 trees planted by Yayasan PETRONAS and its implementation partner Global Environment Centre includes 62 species of trees. These trees were planted over a two-year period with the support of 24 community groups at 14 project sites across 11 states in Malaysia.
The recognition was announced at a special awards ceremony hosted here yesterday in conjunction with the Regional Forum on Ecosystem Restoration organised by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, who is also the AGI organiser. At hand to receive the award were Yayasan PETRONAS Chief Executive Officer, Shariah Nelly Francis and the project’s implementation partner Global Environment Centre (GEC) Director, Faizal Parish.
“The recognition by AGI, alongside the quality of awardees shared with Yayasan PETRONAS and our partner GEC is a testament to the strength of this growing movement of grassroots initiatives in restoring the region’s rich biodiversity and elevate the livelihood of the communities we work with. The recognition also demonstrates an enduring commitment and passion to the work that is both humbling and inspiring to see. We would be very happy to share our stories and lessons learnt, and in turn we also hope to learn from other organisations to further our efforts,” she said.
AGI, a biennial recognition programme that started in 2021, acknowledges tree planting initiatives that aim to increase tree cover and restore ecosystems in the region. It targets to plant at least 10 million trees in 10 ASEAN Member states over a period of 10 years. Organisations and programmes nominated for inaugural AGI recognition this year were evaluated on the merit of the project’s ecological soundness, socio-economic impact, sustainability, and compliance with governance and institutional mechanisms.
Faizal Parish congratulated Yayasan PETRONAS on the award and also took the opportunity to recognise the efforts of the local communities and government agencies that were key in the driving the success of the programme.
“The engagement of local community groups at all the project sites was critical to the success of the initiative. All the trees were grown in community nurseries and later planted and maintained by community members. This enabled the project to be completed successfully even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic when movement was restricted. The bulk of the funds for the initiative were passed to the local community providing important supplementary income during the pandemic and creating new income generating options for the future,” Faizal added.
Nagarajan Rengasamy, GEC’s Forest & Coastal Programme Manager made a presentation to the Regional Forum on Ecosystem Restoration and highlighted the various livelihood schemes under the Initiative including the Tree Buyback System, the Community-led Tree Planting & Site Maintenance Scheme, Community-led Peatland Rewetting Fire Prevention Scheme.
To date, through the cohesive efforts alongside the project’s implementation partner, GEC, Yayasan PETRONAS has successfully planted 71,538 trees with a 78.1% survival rate.